34-Year-Old UFC Welterweight 32-8-0
July 3, 2017 Donald Cerrone News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Cerrone's (groin/illness) scheduled welterweight matchup against Robbie Lawler has been moved to UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Cerrone and Lawler had originally been scheduled to throw down at UFC 213 on July 8 -- the grand finale of the promotion's International Fight Week. Unfortunately for Vegas fight fans, Cerrone suffered a pulled groin, and there were also rumblings of a blood infection, so the matchup simply could not go on as planned. Although UFC President Dana White dismissed rumors of the bout getting moved to the 214 card, that's exactly what will happen in the end. With or without injury, Cerrone appears in line to enter as the underdog for this matchup with the former welterweight champion.
Donald Cerrone: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Fantasy AnalysisRumors of a prospective Cerrone withdrawal surfaced earlier in the week, and at the time there was a strong implication that the fight would be moved to UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim. It sounds like that is off the table now as well, as Cerrone will need more time to recover than the extra three weeks. "Could he come out and fight? Probably. Should he come out and fight Robbie Lawler with a pulled groin? No, he shouldn't," UFC President Dana White stated Wednesday. It sounds like the promotion still plans to re-book this matchup later in 2017.
Fantasy AnalysisThe bout between Cerrone and Lawler was supposed to take place at UFC 213 on July 8, but the undisclosed injury is slated to push the fight back to a later date. The severity of Cerrone's issue is unclear at this point, but the proposed early turnaround of just a matter of weeks suggests it won't be a long-term concern. Cowboy will be looking to bounce back from a loss to Jorge Masvidal in his last bout.
Fantasy AnalysisCerrone is one of the most active fighters in the entire promotion, but his desire for quick turnarounds came back to haunt him, as he did not look like himself in a TKO loss to Jorge Masvidal in January -- a fight in which he barely saw a month-and-a-half of time off. He'll now draw a former champion in Lawler, who is looking to bounce back from a knockout defeat of his own. Cerrone has competed in plenty of fights at lightweight, but he'll actually hold a slight height advantage over Lawler, despite the higher weight class. Their reaches will be roughly equivalent. There's no questioning the toughness of either man, as both have no qualms about getting into brawls that last into championship rounds -- it should be a treat for the fans.
Fantasy AnalysisIt just wasn't Cowboy's night. Other than scoring with a bunch of leg kicks, Cerrone was beaten from pillar to post by Masvidal. He ate a countless number of jabs, and his trademark toughness was the only reason he saw Round 2 after he was flattened by a Masvidal combination late in the first frame. It was Cerrone's first loss in five fights since moving up to welterweight. Still, in both Saturday's setback to Masvidal and his last fight against Matt Brown, Cowboy is absorbing way too much punishment. It's fair to wonder if all the fights he accepts in a short period of time are starting to take their toll. Cowboy keeps himself in elite condition, but it would be wise for him to take at least six months off -- a suspension of roughly that length is likely to be handed down by the state's athletic commission anyway.
Fantasy AnalysisCerrone will certainly keep up his reputation as one of the most active fighters in all of MMA, as Cowboy is just coming off a KO victory (head kick) over Matt Brown at UFC 206 this past Saturday. Since moving up to welterweight in February of 2016, Cerrone has been on fire, collecting four stoppage victories. Masvidal's fortunes haven't been quite as good of late, as the 32-year-old is just 2-2 in his last four bouts. The two fighters also have one recent, common opponent in the now-departed Benson Henderson. Cerrone took a unanimous decision victory from Henderson in January of 2015, while Masvidal was bested via unanimous decision in November of that same year.
Fantasy AnalysisThere were some rough moments along the way, but Cowboy's highlight reel finish of Brown should earn him an extra $50,000. Cerrone was picking Brown apart on the feet throughout the course of the fight, although he ate plenty of shots along the way. The finish came when Brown ducked his head and Cowboy loaded with a head kick right to the side of his opponents face. Brown dropped to the canvas immediately and referee John McCarthy immediately put a halt to the action. It was a fight in which Cerrone entered as a massive favorite, but the finish is all that everyone will be talking about. After the fight, Cerrone asked for a spot on the card in Denver at the end of January that will be headlined by a women's bantamweight fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Julianna Pena. With that event over six weeks away, there's no reason for Cerrone not to get his wish.
Fantasy AnalysisCerrone had originally been scheduled to fight Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 205 last Saturday, but that bout was scrapped when Gastelum badly missed weight. As one of the most active UFC fighters, Cerrone wasted little time in rescheduling. He'll likely be a big favorite on the pay-per-view card. Brown is widely known for his wrestling capability, but it would be unwise to fight this one on the ground due to Cerrone's world-class grappling.
Fantasy AnalysisGastelum said that he couldn't made weight, which is why he did not even attempt to weigh in on Friday. Cerrone will still get the show money for making weight at 170.4 pounds. The New York State Athletic Commission allows for only a five-pound weight difference between fighters, which was not going to happen. It leaves five fights for the main card.
Fantasy AnalysisCowboy has earned three-straight wins at welterweight since he came up short against Rafael Dos Anjos in his quest for the UFC Lightweight Championship. Cerrone prepares the same way no matter who he is facing and no matter what weight class he is competing in, and that has undoubtedly helped him over the years. Overall, Cerrone is 11-1 in his last 12 fights dating back to November 2013.
Fantasy AnalysisCerrone was originally going to face Robbie Lawler, but that fight was cancelled due to Lawler wanting more time to prepare. Gastelum was set to fight Jorge Masvidal at an earlier event, but now Masvidal is without a match up. It's unclear if he will get another one for TUF Latin America on November 5. Cowboy is on a three-fight winning streak since entering the 170-pound weight class, but the 24-year-old Gastelum will arguably be his toughest test to date in the division. Gastelum is an excellent wrestler and athlete that is more than capable of going the distance in this fight.
Fantasy AnalysisIt was announced earlier this week that the Cowboy would face Lawler at UFC 205, however the match has since been scrapped. Lawler reportedly is looking for more time to prepare, as he last fought at UFC 201 where he suffered a one-punch knockout to Tryon Woodley. It is unclear at this time if Cerrone will get another match on the card.
Fantasy AnalysisCerrone's desire to fight Lawler was answered quickly by the UFC, and he'll get back in the octagon on November 12. Cerrone is riding a three-fight win streak, and will now get to face a former welterweight champion in the main event. Cowboy just recently moved up to welterweight, but has shown he has the chops to face the bigger men. He'll have momentum on his side, as Lawler recently lost his championship belt to Tyron Woodley at UFC 201.
Fantasy AnalysisCerrone has recently made the jump up to welterweight (170 pounds), and looks like a newer, healthier fighter, racking up three straight wins (Rick Story, Patrick Cote, Alex Oliveira). Cowboy is a fighter that is always looking to work as frequently as possible, and Lawler will be the third name he's mentioned since an impressive knockout victory over Rick Story at UFC 202. This fight actually makes a lot of sense, however, as Lawler has been itching to get back into the Octagon since a KO loss to Tyron Woodley. Lawler surely has aspirations of getting his belt back, but making him go through Cerrone first would be a good move for the UFC.
Fantasy AnalysisCerrone mistakenly stated after his UFC 202 victory over Rick Story that his contract with the promotion was finished, but even though he still had one fight left on the deal, the two sides were able to reach a deal to keep one of the promotion's more popular fighters on board. Cowboy is one of the more promotion-friendly fighters in the game, often times accepting fights on short notice at multiple weight classes. For that reason alone, we was a candidate to stick with the UFC long-term, but his performance in the octagon of late further drove home the point. He's looked much healthier since a recent jump up to welterweight, and as usual, is quick to look for another fight following his most recent victory.
Fantasy AnalysisCerrone is just off a second-round TKO victory over Rick Story at UFC 202, and is already thinking about his next path into the octagon. He did call out lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez following his victory, but Cerrone's preference has already been to fight as frequently as possible. Rather than wait around for Alvarez or UFC brass to make a decision, Cowboy has stepped up as a candidate to face an 18-7 welterweight in his home country. Silva, who has lost back-to-back fights, wouldn't do much for Cerrone's spot in the rankings, but at least it's a payday. The only current card in Brazil that is on the UFC schedule at the moment is a Sept. 24 Fight Night event headlined by Cris "Cyborg" Justino.
Fantasy AnalysisYes, that was a win for Cowboy at 2:02 of Round 2 at UFC 202. Cerrone has now won 11 of his last 12 fights. He was able to fend off Story's attempted advances to get this fight to the mat, and he absolutely tuned him up on the feet. The combination that finished the bout consisted of numerous body shots and a head kick. It was beautiful to watch. Story had never been stopped by strikes prior to Saturday. In his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Cowboy asked for a Lightweight Championship fight against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden in November. That request seems like a long shot, but it's a guarantee that Cerrone is going to get another high-profile opponent his next time out. Whether that be at lightweight or welterweight is anyone's guess.
Fantasy AnalysisCowboy keeps doing his thing - having won 10 of his last 11 bouts, with the only setback being his loss to Rafael Dos Anjos in December's Lightweight Championship fight. Since then, Cowboy has decided to move up to welterweight, where he has won his first two fights against Alex Oliveira and Patrick Cote. Cerrone's entire career has been unusual simply due to how frequently he fights. Story's strengths are his cardio and durability, something that Cowboy excels at. He should pick up a win here.
Fantasy AnalysisIt will be Cerrone's third fight of 2016, but that's nothing new for Cowboy, who always looks to fight as frequently as possible. He had been in talks to replace potentially replace Michael Chiesa (back) in a matchup against Tony Ferguson on July 13, but with Monday night's announcement, that notion will no longer come to fruition. Story is a calculated fighter at this point in his career, as five of his last six bouts have ended in a decision. Cerrone, on the other hand, prefers to put on a big show for the crowd, with his last four bouts ending in a finish. Cowboy has recently expressed his displeasure with the UFC over his compensation, but based on this news, it won't stop him from fighting any opponent on relatively short notice.
Fantasy AnalysisIt was one of the more thorough beatings of recent memory. Cowboy battered Cote in every way imaginable on the feet and the only reason the fight lasted as long as it did is because Cote's chin is made of granite. Cerrone is going to be the smaller man in just about every welterweight fight he competes in, but he has more ways to win than just about every other 170-pounder on the roster. It's anyone's guess where Cowboy goes from here simply because of his willingness to fight anyone at any time. As we all know, Cerrone has spent the majority of his career at lightweight, but the path to the top seems to be considerably easier at welterweight. He proved on Saturday that he can easily dispatch bigger 170-pounders.
Fantasy AnalysisCerrone has won nine of his last ten bouts, with his only setback being his loss to UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos in December. This will mark Cerrone’s second straight fight at welterweight (he stopped Alex Oliveira via first-round submission in February), although it’s anyone’s guess as to what weight class he will compete in moving forward. Cowboy seemingly has little to no issue cutting weight when necessary, and we know he will fight anyone at any time, so it is foolish to attempt to forecast his future plans. Cerrone is a better fighter than Cote and a far bigger draw, so it’s a bit surprising that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva made this fight when they certainly could have had Cerrone face a more notable opponent, but knowing Cowboy he probably lobbied for this fight simply because of his love for the business and his desire to fight as frequently as possible.
Fantasy AnalysisIn his UFC welterweight debut, Cerrone was easily the smaller of the two men, but he has always had underrated grappling skills and he proved it on Sunday. The finish came when Cowboy landed a smart takedown and quickly transitioned to a triangle choke. Oliveira tapped immediately. Cerrone is known for his willingness to constantly take fights on short notice, but people seem to forget the all-around skills that he posses. His cardio and ground game have long been underrated. It remains to be seen if Cowboy's next fight will be at lightweight or welterweight, it's likely he doesn't even know, but it's a certainty that we will see him again in the near future. He is one of the most popular fighters in the UFC for good reason.
Fantasy AnalysisThis will be Cerrone's debut in the welterweight division, but it seems highly unlikely that will impact this fight much. Oliveira is another guy who has spent a good portion of his career at lightweight and there probably won't be much of a size difference between the two men. Cerrone is coming off his brutal 66-second loss to UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos in December, but he had won eight fights in a row before that and he has been fighting the best the world has to offer for the past six-plus years. Oliveira is a threat, but this is a fight that Cowboy should win. Cerrone's skill set and entertaining style of fighting should play well in any division.
Fantasy AnalysisCerrone is a fighter known for taking nearly any fight under any time frame, so finding a new opponent shouldn't be overly difficult for the UFC. Cowboy lost his most recent bout in the lightweight division to current champion Rafael dos Anjos, but will look to start a new winning streak in the welterweight division. He won't have as distinct of a size advantage here, but the weight cut will be less strenuous, which will likely improve his cardio and overall mindset heading into the bout.
Fantasy AnalysisAs expected, the talk of Cerrone taking some extended time off was never going to come to fruition. Considering the depth of the lightweight division and the fact that he came up short in his quest for a title against champion Rafael dos Anjos a couple of weeks ago, now is the time for Cowboy to move up. Cerrone walks around at about 175 pounds, so the fact that he won't have to cut virtually any weight to reach the 170-pound welterweight limit will certainly be a good thing. Although Means has been hot lately, this is a fight that Cerrone should certainly win.
Fantasy AnalysisYou have to feel for Cowboy. He waited so long and worked so hard to finally get a title shot and it lasted all of 66 seconds. Knowing that Cerrone is both a slow starter and vulnerable to shots to the body, dos Anjos immediately unloaded a knee and kick to Cowboy's stomach and he was never able to recover. Cerrone had won eight in a row prior to Saturday. Every fighter seems to have an opponent that they struggle against and you wonder if RDA is Cerrone's kryptonite. It certainly wasn't a case of Cowboy being unprepared or in poor shape. No one trains harder than Cerrone. Cowboy is a darn good fighter, one of the three or four best lightweights in the world, but he's been in the game for a long time, had a ton of fights and he's already 32-years old. You wonder if he will start to fight a bit less frequently.
Fantasy AnalysisIt will be Cowboy's first title shot in the UFC. One of the most popular fighters in all of MMA, Cerrone has won eight fights in a row, including wins over Benson Henderson, Myles Jury, Eddie Alvarez and Edson Barboza. He certainly deserve his shot at the gold. RDA easily to a decision from Cowboy when the two fought back in August 2013, but both men are different fighter than they were more than two years. Cerrone is a pretty heavy underdog, but there are plenty of knowledgeable people who are picking him to pull the upset on Saturday night.
Fantasy AnalysisIt was reported in early June that Cowboy would be getting the next title shot, and now we have a date. Cerrone has won eight fights in a row - his last loss was a unanimous decision setback to dos Anjos in August 2013. Despite his recent success, Cowboy figures to be the underdog when the rematch takes place in December.
Fantasy AnalysisBut it comes at a price. dos Anjos isn't scheduled to return from knee surgery until December. Cowboy, who we all know loves to stay as active as possible, reportedly isn't all that thrilled about waiting six more months to fight, but he's willing to do it to get his shot at the title.
Fantasy AnalysisThe end came when Cerrone broke Makdessi's jaw with a kick. Makdessi immediately knew he was badly injured and told referee Jason Herzog to stop the bout. The taller Cerrone was able to connect with leg kicks at will all fight long. It's been a long time coming, but with eight wins in a row, it seems likely Cowboy will finally get the lightweight title shot that he's been longing for. Of course, he has to be willing to wait for it.
Fantasy AnalysisAs we all know, Cerrone is willing to fight anyone, anytime, but it's difficult to see how this fight can benefit him at all. He will be expected to easily handle Makdessi and he will tumble down the rankings if he somehow fails to win. If Cerrone is impressive in beating Makdessi and if Nurmagomedov continues to be sidelined for an extended period of time, it's entirely possible that Cerrone could earn the next lightweight title shot if he's successful at UFC 187.